What Prevents us from Reaching our Goals  

Updated: Sep 20, 2019

“ you may be wondering why you’re struggling to meet your goals ...”

1- No Plan

Training without having a program or a plan to follow, it is just like driving a car without knowing your destination.

2 - Hanging out with lazy people

We all know the famous saying , tell me who's your friends and I'll tell you who you are.

Being surrounded by people who has no interest into fitness or a healthy eating can influence you and get you away from the healthy living .

3- Trying big changes

All changes, even positive ones, are scary. Attempts to reach goals

We all want to look fit be stronger and have a healthier life style.

Change is frightening. This human fact is unavoidable whether the change is seemingly insignificant (trying a new program) or life-altering (having a baby). This fear of change is rooted in the brain’s physiology, and when fear takes hold, it can prevent creativity, change, and success.

From an evolutionary standpoint, the brain is one of the most unusual organs in the human body. Our other organs—the heart, liver, intestines, and so on—developed so well that they have remained consistent through eons of human evolution. But for the last four or five hundred million years, the brain has continued to develop and change. Today, we actually have three separate brains that came along at intervals of about one or two hundred million years. One of our challenges as humans is to develop harmony among these different brains so as to avoid physical and emotional illness. At the bottom of the brain is the brain stem. It’s about five hundred million years old and is called the reptilian brain (and in fact it does look like an alligator’s whole brain). The reptilian brain wakes you up in the morning, sends you off to sleep at night, and reminds your heart to beat.

Sitting on top of the brain stem is the midbrain, also known as the mammalian brain. Roughly three hundred million years old, this is the brain possessed in one form or another by all mammals. The midbrain regulates the body’s internal temperature, houses our emotions, and governs the fight-or-flight response that keeps us alive in the face of danger.

The third part of the brain is the cortex, which began to develop about one hundred million years ago. The cortex, which wraps around the rest of the brain, is responsible for the miracle of being human. Civilization, art, science, and music all reside there. It’s where our rational thoughts and creative impulses take place. When we want to make a change, or jump-start the creative process, we need access to the cortex.

This three-brain arrangement doesn’t always function smoothly. Our rational brains direct us to lose weight—but then we eat a bag of chips at one sitting. Or we try to come up with a creative pitch for a new project—and our minds go blank as fresh concrete.

When you want to change but experience a block, you can often blame the midbrain for gumming up the works. The midbrain is where you’ll find a structure called the amygdala (a-MIG-duh-luh). The amygdala is absolutely crucial to our survival. It controls the fight-or-flight response, an alarm mechanism that we share with all other mammals. It was designed to alert parts of the body for action in the face of immediate danger. One way it accomplishes this is to slow down or stop other functions such as rational and creative thinking that could interfere with the physical ability to run or fight

The fight-or-flight response makes a lot of sense. If a lion is charging at you, the brain does not want you to waste time carefully thinking through the problem. Instead, the brain simply shuts down nonessential functions, such as digestion, sexual desire, and thought processes, and sends the body directly into action

Thousands of years ago, when we roamed the jungles and forests and savannas with other mammals, this mechanism came in handy every time humans put themselves in jeopardy by straying from the safe and familiar. Since we possessed bodies that did not run very fast, that lacked the strength of the animals that wanted to prey upon it, and that did not see or smell well, this timidity was crucial. The fight-or-flight response is still vital today, for instance, if a car on the highway heads the wrong way down your lane, or if you need to escape a burning building

The real problem with the amygdala and its fight-or-flight response today is that it sets off alarm bells whenever we want to make a departure from our usual, safe routines. The brain is designed so that any new challenge or opportunity or desire

triggers some degree of fear. Whether the challenge is a new diet or just eating something for the first time , the amygdala alerts parts of the body to prepare for action—and our access to the cortex, the thinking part of the brain, is restricted, and sometimes shut down.

(Meet Sara)

Sara sat in the examining room, her eyes cast downward. She had come to medical center for help with high blood pressure and fatigue, but the family-practice resident could see that much more was going on. Sara was a divorced mother of two, by her own admission a little depressed and more than a little overwhelmed. Her support system was shaky at best, and she was just barely holding on to her job. The young doctor was Concerned about Sara's long-term health. Her weight (she was carrying more than thirty extra pounds) and soaring stress level put her at increased risk for diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and deeper depression. It was clear that if Sara did not make some changes, she was headed down a spiral of disease and despair.

The doctor knew a cheap, proven way to help Sara, and it wasn’t a bottle of pills or years in psychotherapy. If you read the papers or watch the news, you can probably guess what I’m talking about: exercise. Regular physical activity could improve nearly all of Sara’s health problems, give her more stamina to sustain her through her grueling days, and boost her spirits. Once,he might have offered this free and effective treatment with all the zeal of a new convert. Go jogging!

Ride a bike! Rent an aerobics video! He might have said. Give up your lunch break, wake up an hour earlier if you have to, but just get up and make that commitment to your health five times a week! But when he looked at the dark circles under Sara’s eyes, his heart sank. He’d probably told hundreds of patients to exercise, but very few of them made it a regular habit. They found it too time-consuming, too sweaty, too much effort. I believe that most of them were also afraid of breaking out of their comfortable ruts, although not all of the patients were aware of this fear. And here sat Sara, who worked almost constantly just to keep her kids housed and clean and fed. Her only solace was relaxing for a half hour or so on the couch most evenings. I could predict what would happen: The doctor would tell her to exercise, Sara would feel both misunderstood

(“How am I going to find time to work out? You don’t understand me at all!”) and guilty. The resident physician would feel frustrated to see her advice ignored one more time—and possibly start to become cynical, as so many hopeful young doctors eventually do. What could I do to break this sad cycle?

“How about if you just march in place in front of the television, each day, for one minute?

But Sara brightened a little. She said, “I could give that a try.” When Julie returned for a follow-up visit, she reported that she’d indeed marched in front of the TV set for one minute each night. Granted, she wasn’t going to get much healthier with just sixty seconds of low-intensity exercise. But during this second visit, the Dr noticed that Sara’s attitude had changed. Instead of coming back discouraged, as so many failed exercisers do, Sara was more animated, with less resistance in her speech and demeanor. “What else can I do in one minute a day?” she wanted to know. The doctor was thrilled. A small success, yes, but much better than the all-around discouragement I’d seen so many times. He began to guide Sara slowly toward a healthier life, building up the exercise habit minute by minute. Within a few months, Sara found that her resistance to a more complete fitness program had dissolved. She was now eager to take on full aerobics workouts—which she performed regularly and enthusiastically! At the same time, small steps here, ones that seemed almost embarrassingly trivial at first. Instead of encouraging people to leave unsatisfying habits, you might have them spend a few seconds each day imagining the details of a dream body. If you wanted to cut out caffeine, we’d start by taking one less sip each day. A frustrated manager might actually try giving smaller, not larger, rewards to employees to increase their motivation.

low-key change helps the human mind circumnavigate the fear that blocks success and creativity. Just as a student driver practices in an empty parking lot, first just sitting in the car and trying out its equipment and then driving for a few minutes at a time,Often, people find that their minds develop a desire for this new behavior, whether it is regular exercise or a diet.

Clearly Sara was afraid for her health—that’s why she came to the doctor in the first place—but her enormous responsibilities led to other, less obvious fears that competed for her attention. She was afraid of losing her job, afraid for her children’s safety, afraid she wasn’t a good mother, and—as she later confessed—afraid of disappointing her physician if she didn’t follow doctor’s orders. In fact, when a previous doctor had urged her to exercise strenuously several times a week, her fear of letting him down shared a crowded stage with all her other worries—leaving her so overwhelmed that she failed to exercise at all. Even worse, ashamed to have disobeyed the doctor’s instructions, she stopped seeking medical care altogether. Instead, she relied on television and junk food for comfort. You may have experienced this phenomenon in the form of test anxiety. The more important you believe the test to be, the more you have riding on the outcome, the more fear you feel. And then you find it difficult to concentrate. An answer you might have had down cold the night before seems to have withdrawn itself from your memory bank.

Large Goal ➞ Fear ➞ Access to Cortex Restricted ➞ Failure

Instead Try:

Small Goal ➞ Fear Bypassed ➞ Cortex Engaged ➞ Success

Some lucky people are able to get around this problem by turning their fear into another emotion: excitement. The bigger the challenge, the more excited and productive and thrilled they become. You probably know a few people like this. They come to life when they sense a challenge. But for the rest , big goals trigger big fear. Just as it happened with our ancestors on the savanna, the brain restricts the cortex in order to get us moving away from the lion—but now the lion is a piece of paper called a test or a goal of losing weight,having the body we want. Creativity and purposeful action are suppressed exactly when we need them the most!

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